Wednesday 17 January 2018

Champions downed in replay

IN a week when they unveiled new floodlights at Newfoundwell, the Blues turned out the lights on St Pat's three-in-row hopes to reach yet another county final at Haggardstown.

Toppling the champs was never going to be an easy task, but when Fergal Reel's men exploded out of the traps with 1-3 without reply inside 10 minutes, a difficult assignmet started to look like mission impossible.

Eoin O'Connor fisted the goal past Conor Barton when an Eamon Carroll effort dropped short into the square, and in truth Blues were living dangerously during those early exchanges as Aidan McCann, Daniel O'Connor and Eoin O'Connor all missed chances to add more goals.

But Blues responded with five points in six minutes to close the gap to a point.

Pats may well have weathered the storm, but their hopes were hit a sucker punch by one of their own, when Shane Hynes was sent off on a straight red card for needlessly lashing out at Thomas Costello, who was then booked for his part.

The 14-men did manage to hit the half-time break a point to the good, 1-4 to 0-6, but were facing an uphill battle against a slick Blues outfit. The Drogheda men duly hit the front in the eighth minute of the second half when Derek Kierans was pulled down in the area and Hugh McGinn drilled a brilliant penalty past Sean Connor to the top corner.

A mis-firing Pats hung in as best they could as slowly but surely Blues opened a four-point cushion with five minutes remaining, 1-10 to 1-6. The champions were always likely to need a goal and although a late red card for Colm Judge helped them to close the deficit to two points they never truly looked like pulling this one out of the fire.

NEWTOWN BLUES: Conor Barton; Niall Costello, Thomas Costello, Andrew Tinley; Stephen Moonan 0-2f, Eoghan Judge, James Murray; Keith Lynch, John Kermode 0-1; Brian Kermode, Colm Judge 0-2, Andy McDonnell 0-1; Derek Kierans, Hugh McGinn 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), Robbie Carr 0-1. Subs: Jamie Carr for T Costello, Barry Sharkey for B Kermode, Cormac McQuillan for R Carr.

ST PATRICKS: Sean Connor; Kevin Toner, Dessie Finnegan, Darren O'Hanlon; Ray Finnegan, Alan O'Connor, Owen Zamboglou; Paddy Keenan 0-4 (0-2f), Paudie Mallon; Eamon Carroll 0-2f, Eoin O'Connor 1-1, Aidan McCann; Shane Hynes, Karl White 0-1, Daniel O'Connor. Subs: Eoghan Lafferty for A O'Connor, Evan White for A McCann.

REFEREE: Kevin Brady.

The Argus

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